Paraty is a beautiful Brazilian coastal town, a four hour bus ride from the city of Rio. The town is known for its white colonial houses with colorful window trims and doors and uneven cobble stone streets. We arrived in Paraty under torrential rain. Since my boyfriend estimated that our hotel was only 500 meters from the bus terminal we figured we could make a run for it. To begin with, we took a wrong turn and got lost in what seemed to be a street maze. Within a matter of minutes we were drenched. We turned a corner and found ourselves in water half way to our knees, trying to keep our bags above the water. My boyfriend’s havaianas came undone and so there he was, lugging my suitcase, while wearing his backpack, shin deep in water, barefoot. We stopped at a shop and then a pousada (bed & breakfast) to ask for directions. After what seemed like an eternity we found our pousada. The bags were drenched and most of our clothes were wet. My camera stopped working all together. Turns out this weather is typical of Paraty and despite the incident the remainder of our stay was wonderful.
Here’s my suggestion for a perfect day in and around Paraty:
Start the day off with a typical breakfast of freshly baked bread, freshly squeezed juice and fresh fruit. Take a stroll through the pedestrian only centre and then admire the colourful boats docked in the marina.
Take the city bus to the nearby town Trindade. The bus ride takes about 40 minutes and it only costs about $2 USD. Trindade is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil.
The beaches are separated by beautiful jungle trails. Make sure to hike all the way to the “natural swimming pool”. This pool is shallow and surrounded by beautiful rocks. The water is so clear that there’s no need for snorkelling gear; look down and you’ll see colourful fish swimming around your feet.
Take the bus back to Paraty and spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the local jewelry and clothing artisan shops. Sample and then stock up on locally made cachaça and mild cachaça based liqueurs including my favourites sweet corn and passion fruit. End the evening with a delicious filet mignon steak dinner and a bottle of malbec at Restaurante Netto.